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Medical Payments Coverage

What Is Medical Payment Coverage?
Know Your Coverage Limits
When Do I Get Paid?
After an Accident
Health Insurance and Medical Payment Coverage
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1. What Is Medical Payment Coverage?
Automobile medical payment coverage handles medical expenses for you and your passengers if you get into an accident.This type of coverage can be helpful in many ways, especially if you would rather insure yourself rather than try to recover payments for car accident medical claims from the other driver's insurance company.

It's important to note that many states have insurance laws designed to prevent duplicate coverage, and you may not be able to file a third party insurance claim for bodily injury if you are covered by automobile medical payment coverage, though you may be able to file a third party claim for anything not duplicated by your own insurance. It's good to protect yourself and your passengers, but state laws are designed to prevent "double dipping" for insurance claims. Top

2. Know Your Coverage Limits
Do you know the limits on your car insurance medical payments? Most people do, but if you aren't aware how fast those limits can be reached after an accident, you owe it to yourself to do a little research. Many policies may offer basic-level coverage with a limit around $5,000. Is that enough to protect you in case of a serious accident?

Check with your insurance agent to get some advice on the average amount of car accident medical claims and set your coverage level accordingly. Your agent can show you research data and charts with the average amount of car accident settlements for your coverage level compared with the amount of the hospital bills themselves. Don't short yourself on important coverage if an affordable plan with additional protection is available. If you have health insurance, consider carrying medical limits coverage at the level of your health plan's deductible and copayment, or your out of pocket maximum. This should dovetail nicely for you and could save you from paying for double coverage. Top

3. When Do I Get Paid?
It's very important to know the terms of payment on your automobile medical payment coverage. Many insurance policies require you to incur an actual expense before they will cover the costs. Depending on the terms of your medical billing, you may have to pay a portion of this amount up front and wait for reimbursement from the insurance company later. The good news is that in most cases, under these types of policies, there is a provision called no "fault investigation." Essentially this means you won't necessarily experience a big delay in payment due to your claim being reviewed to determine liability (i.e. who's to blame for the accident).

That doesn't mean you won't have to wait for payment--forms must be filled out and filed and proper procedures must be followed. In these cases it is best to see how much time you have to pay the medical bills and see what can be worked out to avoid financial hardship between the time you incur the medical expense and the time you get car accident medical bill reimbursement. Top

4. After an Accident
Automobile medical payment coverage is generally a "no-fault" type of coverage so there is no worry if you are unsure about who was responsible. Your auto accident claims under this policy aren't investigated before payment. With that in mind, it's important to remember your medical payment coverage is only one part of your insurance policy. Your liability coverages for personal injury and property damage do require the insurance company to make a determination of who was at fault.

That is why it is very important to be careful what you do in the aftermath of an accident. Never admit fault, even if you think you may have caused the accident. That is for the insurance agent and the police to decide. Always tell the truth when relating your version of events, but do not make a judgement call. Present proof of insurance to the police when requested, but don't disclose the amount of your insurance policy to a third party. Above all, do not accept money after an accident--you could be prevented from making an auto accident claim later. These steps are designed to protect you from "ambulance chasers" and ensure you get a fair investigation when it's time to determine the facts, and the blame, regarding your accident. Top

5. Health Insurance and Medical Payment Coverage
If you don't carry health insurance, it's important to increase the amount of your automobile medical payment coverage. Drivers with no health insurance can be hit with major hospital bills and other financial hardships, and increasing your coverage limits may protect you from major losses. This is especially true if you have a severe one-car accident. There is no third-party liability insurance to reimburse you for a car accident injury in such cases. If your coverage is low, you will incur personal medical expenses. Even a single-car accident injury can require expensive treatment and recovery. Don't put your personal finances in jeopardy by failing to anticipate extended hospital needs. Top

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